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Desert Tortoise

Sonora is a Desert Tortoise and was found roaming around in San Miguel, where desert tortoises do not belong. Desert tortoises can be kept in captivity, as long as you have a special permit and they are no longer legal to keep as pets in California. They are protected under state and federal laws. In California it is illegal to sell or purchase desert tortoises, which means if you want one, you have to adopt one. It is, of course, also illegal to take them out of the wild. Once a desert tortoise has been taken from the wild, it is not allowed to go back. Desert tortoise populations have struggled because of a respiratory disease that was introduced by captive tortoises.

We have no clue if Sonora was kept legally, if she was an escapee, or if someone just let her go. Either way, we’re glad she found her way to us. While we’d prefer she have a life out in the desert where she’s meant to be, she’s found a good home with us where she gets to eat endless salads and educate people about desert tortoises.

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